Question 17

Explain the physiology of neuromuscular transmission.

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College Answer

Description of sequential events from axon conduction to detail at the neuromuscular junction was required. Well-constructed answers defined neuromuscular transmission, elucidated the structure of the neuromuscular junction (best done with a detailed diagram), described the central importance of acetylcholine, including synthesis, storage, receptors, and degradation. An ideal answer also described both pre-synaptic (e.g. voltage-gated calcium channels, exocytosis of vesicles) and post-synaptic events (acetylcholine receptors, end plate potentials, and the events that lead to excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle).